Family, sustainability, drug safety and election-year politics: that's the scope of the 2017 Splore Listening Lounge talk programme. The "headline act" sees the Mount Albert by-election contest come to Splore, as Labour's Jacinda Ardern and the Green Party's Julie Anne Genter meet on stage to talk about competing and cooperating in election year.
The two candidates know the festival and they know each other and they took no convincing when I asked them to be part of the lineup.
It's not the first time we've aired Auckland issues and aspirations for the city as part of The Listening Lounge. Most Splorers come from Auckland and we've found that thinking about Auckland at a slight remove from the place works really well.
The Listening Lounge will also feature a talk about the "circular economy" with Air New Zealand board member Linda Jenkinson and her new business partner Ryan Everton, the provider of the reusable Globelet cups and water bottles being used at Splore. New Zealand Drug Foundation director Ross Bell and harm-reduction pioneer Wendy Allison will discuss drug safety, and members of Fat Freddy's Drop (and their kids) will talk about family in the context of the band whanau.
Listening Lounge 2017 timetable, Living Lounge stage, Saturday February 18.
10.30am: We Are Family
Warm fuzzies to start you off. Fat Freddy's Drop's Joe Lindsay, Joe's son Benny (DJ Bobo) and Benny's uncle Mark 'MC Slave' Williams (and his kids) talk about family culture in the context of the wider Freddy's whanau.
11am: The Circular Economy
Globelet inventor Ryan Everton and his new business partner (and Air New Zealand board member) Linda Jenkinson talk about reusable everything and why plastic is good.
11.30: How To take Drugs (Or Not)
New Zealand Drug Foundation director Ross Bell and drug-checking pioneer Wendy Allison on the controversial issue of harm reduction. Is accepting that people will sometimes take drugs okay if it saves lives? Come for the advice.
12:00: Jacinda Ardern and Julie Anne Genter
The Mt Albert by-election comes to Splore! They like each other, but they're opponents – how does that work? And is the by-election the perfect example to demonstrate how Labour and The Greens' cooperation pact can work in election year?